P went on a strike and D (employer) took that to be a repudiatory breach of contract. The EAT accepted that to go on strike was to deliberately breach one’s contract, so that the employer would be able to sack P at common law (by accepting the breach of contract. NB this doesn’t mean that P couldn’t sue D for unfair dismissal under statute. EAT rejected the possibility that the contract had merely been suspended during the strike.
Philips J: “When a strike takes place the employer (although he rarely does so) is entitled to dismiss the employee. We are all agreed on this. A number of problems may then ensue concerning such matters as the right to redundancy payments, and compensation for unfair dismissal. To some extent these matters have already been regulated, by [statutes].” The refusal to turn up for work was a fundamental breach of the contract and had a repudiatory nature.